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May 1, 2017

Goal 2 of the Strategic Plan: The importance of teams

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Research shows that solutions to complex problems are measurably better when a diverse team is working together. That’s the thinking behind our second goal in the 2017–2020 Strategic Plan which focuses on collaborative learning, research, and care models. In a simple phrase, it is all about delivering excellent outcomes through team-based collaborations that drive patient-directed care models, education, and research.

Sounds good, but what does it mean? I think we can all agree that no matter what mission area we are working in—patient care, education, or research—our ultimate goal is to have excellent outcomes. We already have much to be proud of in terms of our outcomes throughout our tripartite mission. As we seek to achieve new heights of excellence, we want to bring our strengths together and facilitate new ideas and efforts in interprofessional teams.

Among the ideas for exploration in the strategies and tasks is how we can most effectively and innovatively include researchers and learners in the clinical care experience. As we develop team-based care models, we will also work to develop educational programs to teach and train providers and students how to best work in teams. In the research realm, the interdisciplinary nature of several of our research institutes provides a good example of linking research scientists with clinical care being provided for certain diseases, such as diabetes and blinding eye disease.

We will also be looking at many suggestions for improving structure and operations, including: using technology to automate the communication process; incorporating more e-health opportunities; thinking differently about our clinical workflows to improve patient engagement; and reaching out to patients to reduce barriers to receiving care.

In addition to our own faculty and staff, we will work with our partners, including UI Health Alliance, to continue to develop and implement integrated models of care delivery and financing. And, of course, we will share our innovations in clinical care, research, and education. We will also engage payers, employers, and providers to help us develop better value-based methods of payment.

As we work together to plan and implement these strategies, I believe UI Health Care is poised to be Iowa’s preeminent provider of value-based programs in patient care, research, and education.

You can read more about Goal 2 below, and if you have ideas for the team, please contact one of the leaders listed, or as always, you can send comments or suggestions to

Goal 2: Collaborative Learning, Research, and Care Models

The focus of Goal 2 is to deliver excellent outcomes through team-based collaborations that drive patient-directed care models, education, and research. The Goal 2 team is
comprised of faculty and staff members from all areas of our tripartite mission—patient care, research, and education—and its leaders are:

  • Christine Miller, assistant vice president, Integrated Strategic Planning and Business Development
  • John Engelhardt, PhD, chair and department executive officer, Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • David Asprey, PA, PhD, assistant dean, Student Affairs and Curriculum

There are two main strategies for Goal 2 (listed below), each with a set of critical tasks that the team will prioritize and put into work plans. In addition, the team will determine the metrics that indicate success for each strategy.

Strategy 2.1: Further develop value-based care models

  • Develop and provide through partnerships the full continuum of care, to include patient-directed care, education, and research provided in clinician offices, community hospitals, diagnostic centers, ambulatory surgery centers, tertiary care facilities, home care, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, etc.
  • Improve the quality of care, patient and provider/staff experience the health of populations, and reducing per capita cost of health care.
  • Develop and expand payer, employer, and provider partnerships that support value-based payment models.
  • Integrate research and education into the care continuum.
  • Use innovative technologies to improve access, communication, and coordination of care, such as e-health.
  • Develop innovative care packages/bundles to offer to payers and employers.
  • Establish incentive models for clinical services, training, and research to align partners.
  • Ensure UI Health Care is Iowa’s preeminent provider of value-based programs.

Strategy 2.2: Transform interprofessional models to support research, team-based care, education, and practice

  • Apply best practices to team-based care to increase value, improving access, quality, and service.
  • Enhance value proposition by integrating education and research into clinical care. ƒ
  • Utilize new human resource models and other organization structures to create nimble models that incentivize and align basic science, clinic practice, clinical research, and interprofessional education through the continuum.
  • Develop the appropriate long-term financial models to support interprofessional team science and education.
  • Develop interprofessional team-training programs across the spectrum of learners (including, faculty, staff, and students) using innovative models and platforms.
  • Develop and implement strategies to reduce variations in care by engaging providers.
  • Develop clinical practice guidelines, measure variation, report back to providers and ensure accountability
  • Invest in human research infrastructure with clinical linkages, such as clinical trials, population-based research, and robust registries.
  • Explore and research innovative methods to integrate learners into the team-based care model.
  • Link disease-based treatment with clinical research through patient engagement, team-based care, and assistance from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.
  • Increase involvement with patient advocacy groups for research and clinical care opportunities.
  • Leverage e-health/telehealth/electronic medical record and other technologies to achieve goals.
  • Enhance communication among team members.
  • Develop pilot grant program to fund new team-based endeavors.

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